What good is education for girls?


Image: cute_faces by oceandesetoiles made available by a creative commons license on flickr

What Good is Education For Girls?
by Habiba Bouhamed Chaabouni

Educating girls and women can bring enormous social, economic
and political benefits to developing countries. Dr. Habiba Bouhammed
Chabouni, a Tunisian doctor, researcher and For Women In Science
Laureate, takes on the traditional attitudes that discourage ”too
much” education for women.

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Facing up to Facebook

Over the past couple of weeks I have been hearing and reading about stories to do with facebook in (and out of) schools.

At schools in Quebec and Ontario, students are being suspended for things that they are posting about their teachers and principals on facebook. These are the same kinds of things that students talk about to each other all the time – but when they put it in writing, in a public forum, it becomes a whole different story.

The thing is, kids don’t realize how public the internet is. Anyone can read what you write in a group on facebook, and when what you write is damaging to the school community I think the school has a responsibility to address it.

However, I don’t think that the issue is being addressed in the right manner. At a school in Ontario, students were suspended from a class trip because of comments they made on facebook while they were at home. According to one of the fathers, the parents and students were informed of this decision without any discussion. (Father: school too harsh on son for online remarks, ctv.ca)

Schools and families need to work together. Arbitrarily punishing someone doesn’t make sense – and doesn’t work. We need to be teaching kids about the realities of online social networks like facebook, and we need to be helping parents to do the same.

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and now…youtube.

my previous post about facebook got me to thinking about other online venues where kids are commenting on their teachers. If you go to YouTube and search for teacher, angry teacher, mad teacher, you will find quite a few cell phone videos of teachers who are out of control. (Teacher Yelling at Student, Angry Teacher)

We can react by asking what cell phones are doing in classrooms. We can react with shock at the kids who are acting out. We can go on about how technology is taking over.

I react by saying that kids are bearing witness to us. We can no longer expect what goes on in our classrooms to stay there. That is the reality. I choose to accept the fact that the technology is there and to teach my students about how to use it responsibly.

I also choose not to yell at my students or to treat them in an unacceptable way. As a teacher I know that I am one of the biggest models in a students life. Everything I do is under scrutiny. When they see me angry and yelling they see a teacher out of control and no way do I want to model that kind of behaviour!

Maybe this technology is a flashing light, reminding teachers to be accountable for the way they treat their students. More importantly, reminding schools to provide support for teachers so they don’t get to the point of not knowing what else to do but yell, scream, belittle, humiliate.

Some argue that teachers are at times being provoked by students for the sole purpose of making these videos. Regardless – the teacher is the adult. At what point would I allow myself to get so provoked by events or behaviour that I would act in this way?

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facing up to facebook

Over the past couple of weeks I have been hearing and reading about stories to do with facebook in (and out of) schools.

At schools in Quebec and Ontario, students are being suspended for things that they are posting about their teachers and principals on facebook. These are the same kinds of things that students talk about to each other all the time – but when they put it in writing, in a public forum, it becomes a whole different story.

The thing is, kids don’t realize how public the internet is. Anyone can read what you write in a group on facebook, and when what you write is damaging to the school community I think the school has a responsibility to address it.

However, I don’t think that the issue is being addressed in the right manner. At a school in Ontario, students were suspended from a class trip because of comments they made on facebook while they were at home. According to one of the fathers, the parents and students were informed of this decision without any discussion. (Father: school too harsh on son for online remarks, ctv.ca)

Schools and families need to work together. Arbitrarily punishing someone doesn’t make sense – and doesn’t work. We need to be teaching kids about the realities of online social networks like facebook, and we need to be helping parents to do the same.

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